200-Level Courses

ENG 205: Introduction to Creative Writing

Prerequisite: ENG 101 strongly recommended.

Satisfies the following general education requirement(s ): Artistic and Creative Expression and Writing Intensive

Satisfies the following English major requirement(s): May count towards the Creative Writing concentration; please refer to the English major checklist and consult with your advisor.

Offers students experience in writing in three major forms: autobiographical narrative, fiction, and poetry.


ENG 206: Descriptive & Narrative Writing

Prerequisites: ENG 101 or equivalent. Satisfies the general education Artistic & Creative Expression and Writing Intensive requirements.

Recent offerings:

(Fall 2016, Brinkley)

This course in descriptive and narrative writing will help students learn how to effectively capture personal experience in narrative form.  Using memoirs, as well as short stories, drama, journalism, and critical theory, students will closely analyze characters, motivation, conflict, setting, and dialogue.  Students will examine the ways in which writers craft their narratives to depict their personal ‘truth’ while creating appeal and suspense for their reading audience.  Weekly classes will focus on discussing the texts we read as well as having students compose personal narrative works of their own.


ENG 212: Persuasive & Analytical Writing

Prerequisite: ENG 101 and at least sophomore standing.

Satisfies the following general education requirement(s): Writing Intensive

Satisfies the following English major requirement(s): Counts towards the Analytical Writing concentration

Course description: This course builds upon ENG 101’s introduction to post-secondary writing and provides a stronger foundation for students’ future writing in their disciplines. Using a range of texts, discussion, and in- and out-of-class assignments, the course strengthens students’ analytical skills. Students then apply these skills to develop and revise persuasive academic arguments. Designed for students wanting to practice in those forms of expository, analytical, and persuasive prose required in writing answers to essay test questions, term papers, research projects, and extended arguments.


ENG 222: Reading Poems

Prerequisite: 3 Hours of English (above 101), English major, or instructor permission. Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition, Artistic & Creative Expression and Writing Intensive requirements.

This course, required of all English majors, focuses on helping students develop critical skills particularly suited to the interpretation and analysis of poetry. It is intended to prepare students to read and write about poems with intelligence and finesse. Readings will include poems from different eras in both traditional and innovative forms, and may cover a range of poetic practices and a variety of media: including, for example, poetry readings, little magazines and presses, digital texts, and poetic movements. By the end of this course students will be able to identify a variety of poetic devices, forms, tropes, and movements. They will also have read and/or listened to some of the most admired poems in the English language, know their authors, eras, and importance in the history of poetry. Evaluation will be based on quizzes, papers, and participation.

Recent offerings:

(Fall 2016, Norris)

(Fall 2016, Brinkley)

(Fall 2016, Friedlander)

This course, required of all English majors, focuses on helping students develop critical skills particularly suited to the interpretation and analysis of poetry. It is intended to prepare students to read and write about poems with intelligence and finesse. Readings will include poems from different eras in both traditional and innovative forms, and may cover a range of poetic practices and a variety of media: including, for example, poetry readings, little magazines and presses, digital texts, and poetic movements. By the end of this course students will be able to identify a variety of poetic devices, forms, tropes, and movements. They will also have read and/or listened to some of the most admired poems in the English language, know their authors, eras, and importance in the history of poetry. Evaluation will be based on quizzes, papers, and participation.

(Spring 2016, Brinkley)

(Spring 2016, Kail)

(Spring 2016, Friedlander)

Required Texts:

The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Shorter Fifth Edition

MLA Handbook

Handouts

Assignments:

Reading assignments, poetry reading response paper, in-class exercises, quizzes, a possible prelim, four or more papers of various lengths, and a final.

(Fall 2015, Norris)

(Fall 2015, Moxley)

Required Texts (Norris):

Poetry, An Introduction, by Michael Meyer (any edition is OK)

A standard dictionary

MLA Handbook

Handouts

Assignments:

Reading assignments, poetry reading response paper, in-class exercises, quizzes, a possible prelim, four or more papers of various lengths, and a final.

Required Texts (Moxley):

The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Shorter 5th Edition. Edited by Ferguson, Salter & Stallworthy

Evaluation: Attendance and participation: 5%

                    Weekly micro essays on contemporary poems: 30%

                    Three focused poem analyses (take home): 30%
                    Evidence of reading: 10%

                    Six brief terminology quizzes: 10%

                    Responses to poetry readings: 5%

                    Final exam: 10%

(Spring 2015, Brinkley)

(Spring 2015, Kail)

(Spring 2015, Norris)

Required Texts:

Poetry, An Introduction, by Michael Meyer (any edition is OK)

A standard dictionary

MLA Handbook

Handouts

Assignments: Reading assignments, poetry reading response paper, in-class exercises, quizzes, a possible prelim, four or more papers of various lengths, and a final.

(Fall 2014, Ellis)

(Fall 2014, Cowan)

Required of all English majors, this is an introduction to the art of poetry for readers. With the demands of 400-level literature courses in mind, the course focuses on helping students develop critical skills particularly suited to the interpretation and analysis of poetry. We will examine the function of poetic conventions–including figures of speech, meter, rhythm, and rhyme–in a variety of different poetic forms from many eras.  We will also discuss the rhetorical stances that poets assume and the responses that poets seek to evoke in their readers. This is a technical class for English majors. Non-English majors who want an in-depth course on the analysis of poetry are welcome. The English Department has many 200-level classes designed for non-English majors; this is not one of them. The goal of the course is to instill a lifelong love of poetry in its students.

(Spring 2014, Brinkley)

(Spring 2014, Ellis)

(Fall 2013, Friedlander)

(Fall 2013, Moxley)

(Spring 2013, Kail)

(Spring 2013, Ellis)

(Spring 2013, Moxley)


ENG 229: Topics in Literature

Prerequisites: 3 hours of English Some courses satisfy the general education Western Cultural Tradition requirement.

Recent offerings:

Hockey in Fiction and Verse (Fall 2016, Pratt)

This class will focus on novels and poetry about ice hockey and, by default, its particular relevance on this campus.  We will examine the growth of interest in the game from its traditional North American roots to its current status as an international sport, and examine the spread of hockey in the US from its original strongholds in Minnesota and New England to virtually every state in the union.

We will ask the question, “How does Hockey differ from the other three major sports, and can it become as popular in the US as football, baseball, or basketball on either the collegiate or professional We will also examine the relationship between the game in the Northeastern US and Eastern Canada to see how the two hockey cultures—or three if one accepts Quebec as an entity separate from the rest of Canada—are related, and how they are different.

Former University of Maine players currently playing professionally in North America and Europe will be asked to send short sketches of life in the pros. (Several have agreed to do so.)

Class requirements: Two or three, five page, papers on topics encountered in the readings and one annotation of a text, or section of a text.

Texts may include: The Good Body by Bill Gaston, Twenty Miles by Cara Hedley, The Last Season by Roy McGregor, Boy on Defence by Scott Young, Hero of the Play by Richard Harrison, and The Hockey Sweater and other stories by Roch Carrier

Apocalyptic & Post Apocalyptic Literature (Fall 2016, Marks)

Course description: This is the way the world ends / This is the way the world ends / This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper. (T. S. Eliot)

Okay, but then what? Apocalypse.  Armageddon. Doomsday. Whatever the name, it is a subject that has been explored by religions both ancient and modern, and in numerous works of fiction from the 1800s right up through the present day.  This course will look at a broad selection of works in this genre (both novels and films) to help us examine the various ways the world might end, from natural/biological disaster, to nuclear holocaust, all the way up to the most modern entry in the genre—the zombie apocalypse.  More importantly, we will look at how these texts explore the ways in which we, as a species, might respond to those ends, and how those responses might reflect their time periods.  The reading list is still to be determined but in the past has included works by such authors as Pat Frank, George Stewart, Walter M. Miller, Jr., Margaret Atwood and Cormac McCarthy.Subject matter varies with faculty interest.

Vampires in Literature (Spring 2016, Marks)

Other literary monsters come and go. The Frankensteins, the wolfmen, the mummies—they all go in and out of style.  And yet, the figure of the vampire remains with us today, if anything, more popular than ever.  What makes the vampire so much more appealing to us?  What explains its staying power?  Its relevance?

This course will try to answer these questions by exploring the subject from its earliest mythology and literary inspirations, on through the present day.  As a class, we will look at the evolution of the genre over time by discussing classic early works such as Dracula and its first film adaptation, Nosferatu, and “transitional” works such as Richard Matheson’s novella, I Am Legend.  Students will then have the opportunity to individually explore the direction of the genre in modern times by choosing from a selection of novels from a range of authors such as Anne Rice, Stephen King, John Ajvide Lindqvist and more.  The course will pay particular attention to the relationship between the individual works, and the ideas and attitudes of the time periods in which they were written.

Monster Literature (Fall 2015, Marks)

The idea of the monster in literature has been one that has been around since some of the earliest literature. How that figure is dealt with and what meanings it might have has changed greatly over time, however. What meanings does the literary monster hold? What purposes do they serve in their stories? In the end, what does it even mean to be “monstrous?”

This course will try to answer these questions by exploring the subject from some of the earlier, more “traditional” representations such as Dracula and Frankenstein, up through more modern interpretations of the literary monster. In the end we may be left with more questions than answers as we start to question exactly who and what “is” the monster in some of these stories.

Home (Not So) Sweet Home (Fall 2015, Le)

This course will examine a variety of texts that draw psychological and metaphoric connections between the persona and consciousness of the main character and the house s/he inhabits.   

Proposed Texts:

Alias Grace                                  Margaret Atwood

House of Sand and Fog              Andre Dubus

A Room of One’s Own                 Virginia Woolf

Sacred Country                            Rose Tremain

House on Mango Street              Sandra Cisneros

Scandalous Women (Spring 2015, Le)

Non-conformity and social disgrace!  This course examines the women in British and American literature who caused a stir in their social sphere and were forevermore depicted as immoral. Students will discuss and analyze the literature as well as the historical contexts in which the texts were written and will also examine the political, social, cultural, and religious history of the period to better understand the women, or their characters, whose “eccentricities” ostracized them from their communities.

Science Fiction and Philosophy (Spring 2014, Marks)

Much of science fiction can be divided into two main categories:  Hard science fiction, which attempts to base itself on sound scientific ideas; and escapist “space opera” like the Star Trek and Star Wars novels.  There is also a third category, however, perhaps best described as metaphysical or philosophical science fiction.  This type of science fiction attempts to answer questions about existence that are beyond mere science, and one that is certainly not “escapist” fiction.  That’s the type of thought-provoking science fiction that this course deals with.  Past texts have included such major science fiction authors as Ursula K. Le Guin, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Philip K. Dick, as well as films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Matrix.  The goal of the course is to look beyond the surface of these texts to the philosophical, metaphysical and religious ideas that provide their focus and meaning, and which, ultimately, might make us look at the world around us in a different way.

Risky Business: Games of Chance in Literature & Film (Fall 2013, Ellis)

Why do games of risk, chance, and uncertainty appear so frequently in fiction, drama, and film as a central metaphor? Playing games is an innate characteristic of human nature, and characters in literature not only play games but are also part of the game played through them. Shakespeare mentions nearly fifty different games and sports in his plays, such as chess, dice, hide and seek, and card games, and in Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern entertain the audience with wordplay and popular games. Beginning with table and word games, we will explore the relationship between a game and its players. How do games function as sites of strategy and cultural resistance? Using classic and current game models, we will examine the formal and thematic elements of play and games of strategy, chance, and skill in a wide range of literature. Readings will include a play, three novels, Don DeLillo’s screenplay for Game 6, and short works by Lewis Carroll, Anita Desai, Ralph Ellison, Milan Kundera, Sam Lipsyte, Edgar Allan Poe, David Mamet, Amy Tan, and others.

Robin Hood (Fall 2012, Harlan-Haughey)

Love the swashbuckling stories of Robin Hood and his band of merry men? Well, you’re not alone; this story of the outlaw who lurks in the wild spaces is considered the only world myth original to England. It has entertained and fascinated people for over seven centuries. This class offers an in-depth study of the evolution of a pop culture icon. We will read some medieval poems and sagas about outlaws, then explore the earliest Robin Hood ballads. We will then move on to the Early Modern ballads, as well as Shakespeare’s As You Like It, a pastoral comedy modeled on the idea of Robin Hood and his merry men. We will turn to modern nostalgia for the past with Scott’s Ivanhoe and Pyle’s Merry Adventures of Robin Hood. Throughout the course we will trace the modern evolution of Robin Hood in 20th century film adaptations. You will leave this class with an appreciation for cultural comparison and analysis, as this subject has relevance today. We have inherited many medieval ideas about nature, law, and outlawry, and knowledge of the history of a particularly tenacious popular icon will surely be enlightening. You will be encouraged to make connections between the medieval and modern worlds throughout the course, both in the classroom and in your writing.

Women’s Autobiography: Theory and Practice (Fall 2012, Speidel)

The course will focus on recent life narratives by women, including a number of texts that work on the boundaries of autobiography and other genres (fiction, biography, non-fiction) and in a range of media (film, visual and performance art, the “domestic” arts). Readings, written assignments, and class discussions will engage questions of genre (including the “truth” status of autobiography), the cultural construction of identity, public and private spaces, collective autobiography, and the role of the body—among others—as a way to challenge and deepen our understanding of diverse modes of self-presentation and life-writing. We will consider what makes a text “autobiographical,” how non-traditional forms of autobiography change or complicate our sense of the kinds of personal and cultural work that life stories can do, and what may account for the current surge in popularity of autobiography, memoir, and related genres. Our discussion will be solidly grounded in the critical and theoretical literature on women’s autobiography but will also involve an exploratory component, in which students do independent research on topics of their choice and experiment with composing their own autobiographical narratives.

Travelers and Madmen (Fall 2012, Le)

Travelers are forever abandoning complacent lives in search of experience and adventure.  When their quests turn to obsession, however, what begins as a thrilling journey can turn into a nightmarish reality — and madness.This fast-paced course in British and American literature explores the remote and unfamiliar lands that fascinated these seasoned travelers, including those whose late-Victorian imperialistic convictions pushed them to ‘civilize’ countries that had otherwise been culturally and geographically out of reach.  We will explore the personal motivations, and the physical, political, and cultural barriers that pit the traveler against the landscape, their companions, family members, and ultimately their own psyche as they try to reach such unknown destinations.  Warning: danger lies ahead for those who seek what’s over the horizon.

Texts:

Heart of Darkness                        Joseph Conrad

The Lost City of Z                         David Grann  

M. Butterfly                                  David Henry Hwang

Mosquito Coast                           Paul Theroux

On the Road                                Jack Kerouac

Into the Wild                               Jon Krakauer

Readings will also include excerpts from To the Ends of the Earth, Blue Latitudes, and Anthology of Women’s Travel Writing.


ENG 231: Western Tradition in Literature – Homer through the Renaissance

Prerequisite: 3 hours of English. Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition and Artistic & Creative Expression requirements.

Recent offerings:

Fall 2009, Alex Irvine

An introduction to the foundations of the western literary and cultural tradition from Stone Age Europe and its matriarchal culture witnessed in the profusion of goddess figures; through the heritage of ancient Babylon and Gilgamesh; to the drama of ancient Greek art, literature, and culture; to the religious forces of the Hebrew and the Christian; and then to the power and vitality of the Roman Empire; ending with the push into the modern with Dante’s Divine Comedy. Ancient Babylon, Athens, Jerusalem, and Rome will become the icons for this trip, one using WebCT and the other various technological resources so that we may both read the literature and view the art and drama of this period. Enhancing the classroom work will be video lectures by UMaine specialists Tina Passman, Classics; Michael Grillo, Art; Jay Bregman, History, and Michael Howard, Philosophy. Additionally, we’ll view Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and Aristophanes’ Lysistrata on film. We’ll explore these foundations within the context of their history and geography in an effort to come to some understanding as to the significance of these cultures and literature to the modern western world.


ENG 235: Literature & the Modern World

Prerequisite: 3 hours of literature or permission Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition, Artistic & Creative Expression and Ethics requirements.

Satisfies the following English major requirement(s): 200-level literature course

Recent offerings:

Lit & Modern World  (Fall 2015, Cowan)

A world in crisis. This interdisciplinary course will study the modern period as an era of political, religious, sexual, social, and artistic crisis.  We will examine works of art—including fiction, drama, film, painting and poetry– as responses to the upheavals brought about by wars, industrial and technological growth, new class structures, and redefined sexual roles.

The course will also examine how works of art convey their messages and especially how they portray social or political ideas.  Students should gain a better understanding of the world they live in and should also improve their abilities to interpret art, literature, and the many texts that portray our culture.

We will look at groups of texts that address different issues and different genres including war, the American West, gender identity, and family structures.

(Spring 2014, Ruddy)


ENG 236: Canadian Literature

Prerequisite: ENG 101 Satisfies the general education Cultural Diversity & International Perspectives, Artistic & Creative Expression, and Ethics requirements.

Recent offerings:

Spring 2016 (Norris)

A survey of Canadian literature from 1850 to the present. Interpretation and analysis of the poetry and prose of major literary figures. Some examination of the impact of British and American models upon the tradition of Canadian literature.


ENG 237: Coming of Age in America

Prerequisites: 3 hours of English or permission. Satisfies the general education Cultural Diversity & International Perspectives requirement.

Recent offerings:

(Fall 2012, Bishop)

The course examines coming of age narratives in American fiction, nonfiction, and film since WWII. In that context we explore the stories of several young protagonists as they seek meaning and identity within the ground-level realities of the American experience.

(Fall 2010)

The process of moving from innocence to experience has many faces in America, as our literature in the last few decades has begun to chronicle. Explores stories of coming of age in American fiction, nonfiction and film of the last fifty years from writers to many traditions, including Franco-American, Latino-Latina, Native American, African-American and Asian-American.


ENG 238: Nature & Literature

Prerequisite: 3 hours of English. Satisfies the general education Ethics requirement.

Recent offerings:

(Spring 2016, Cowan)

ENG 238 will discuss the treatment of nature in poetry, short fiction, journals, novels, and essays.  It will look at the many different ways people have looked at nature and at some of the various traditions of writing about it including the pastoral and nature writing.  It will include traditional literary figures, American nature writers, environmentalists, and authors from Maine.  Some of the texts may include the following:

Sarah Orne Jewett, The White Heron

Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

Daniel Quinn, Ishmael

William Faulkner, Go Down Moses

Aldo Leopold, Sand County Almanac

Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

Loretta Cox, The Winter Walk

Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge

(Spring 2012, Crouch)


ENG 241: American Literature Survey – Beginnings through Romanticism

Prerequisites: 3 Hours of literature or permission. Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition and Artistic & Creative Expression requirements.

Recent offerings:

(Fall 2009, Lukens)

An overview of American literature from before the first English settlements to just before the Civil War, this course has two objectives.  First, it traces the historical development of the first 250 (or more) years of American prose and poetry in English by focusing on representative works from the successive eras of that chronological period.  Second, it emphasizes some recurring themes, persistent attitudes, and chronic concerns that characterize this diverse literature and define it as peculiarly American.

Required Texts:

The Heath Anthology of American Literature, volumes A & B (5th edition), Ed. Paul Lauter, et al.  Houghton Mifflin, 2006.


ENG 242: American Literature Survey – Realism to the Present

Prerequisites: 3 hours of literature or permission. ENG 170 is recommended. Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition and Artistic & Creative Expression requirements.

Recent offerings:

(Spring 2010, Jeff Evans)

The major themes, ideas, attitudes and techniques which have developed in our national poetry, fiction, drama, and essay and which have defined them as particularly American.


ENG 243: Topics in Multicultural Literature

Prerequisites: 3 hours of English. Satisfies the general education Ethics, Western Cultural Tradition and Cultural Diversity & International Perspectives requirements.

Recent offerings:

(Fall 2015, Lukens)

Topics will vary, including such titles as Ethnicity and Race in American Literature; Caribbean Literature; Third World Literature; and other topics in African, Asian, Francophone, Native American, Chicano and ethnic literatures in the English language.

Women Navigating Borders (Spring 2014, Le)

‘Women Navigating Borders’ is an examination of 20th and 21st century women’s transnational literature.  The texts we will read explore the dualities and sacrifices that women experience as they attempt to balance — and, in some cases, merely survive — commitments to their family, heritage, and community.  In addition, these individuals struggle with the ambiguities of boundaries and borders, especially when their personal identity, autonomy, and safety are at risk.  The experiences detailed in these texts depict the urgency to escape; whether the force is war, the global sex trade, or personal identity, these texts address the complexities surrounding micro-level identity within the larger meso, national, and global scopes of family, home, community, and country.  Among theoretical concepts to be addressed: patriarchy, hegemony, war, escape, multi-cultural/transnational/transgender identities, post-colonialism, and neocolonialism, just to name a few.  Broaden your horizons with excellent and unusual literature.

(Fall 2013, Ruddy)


ENG 244: Writers of Maine

Prerequisite: ENG 101 or permission of instructor. Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition, Artistic & Creative Expression and Ethics requirements.

The Maine scene and Maine people as presented by Sarah Orne Jewett, E.A. Robinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Mary Ellen Chase, R.P.T. Coffin, Kenneth Roberts, E.B. White, and others.

Recent offerings:

(Fall 2016, Callaway)

Mystery, Romance, Horror, Young Adult, Children’s Stories, “Serious Fiction,” Native tales, Essays, and Poetry are all part of the writing that has come and still comes out of our state. This class will sample some of those genres, interpreting how they work and what they say about the way life is and is thought to be in Maine. Texts will vary, but may include writing by authors as varied as the Wabanaki People, Henry W. Longfellow, Elisabeth Ogilvie, Sarah Orne Jewett, Carolyn Chute, Stephen King, Paul Doiron, Kathy Pelletier, E.B. White, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Robert P. T. Coffin, Robert McCloskey, Edward Arlington Robinson, Linda Greenlaw, and Ruth Moore.

(Spring 2016, Callaway)

An exploration of the varied nature of the Maine experience as exemplified by writers of fiction, poetry, essays, and other creative genres.

(Fall 2014, Irvine)

Living in Maine has been compared to living in a corner, or living on the edge, or living on an island. If any of these descriptions is valid, our geography must have affected our writers and our literature. Accordingly, in this course we’ll read essays, novels, short stories and poetry in which the setting figures predominantly; we’ll try to determine in what ways that setting has left its mark.  Students will also, I hope, gain a greater appreciation of our state’s rich literary heritage. Finally, we’ll take a look at the recent controversy in Maine fiction:  what is the REAL Maine, and who’s writing about it?

(Fall 2014, Crouse)

In this course we will be exploring Maine identity, that is, what it means to be a “Mainer” both to us and to the various writers we read.  What makes life in Maine different from life elsewhere?  How do these writers represent this unique identity and place? We will watch films and read novels, short stories, essays, and creative nonfiction to focus on a variety of perspectives, such as the Native Americans of Maine, the people who were born and raised in Maine, the “transplants,” the outsiders’ perspectives on the native Mainers, and the many ethnic voices of Maine.  We will also be discussing various myths and (mis)representations of life in Maine  as well as universal themes that arise from the poetry and prose we read, such as the important role of humor in our lives, coming of age,the role of nature in our lives, the significance of death, etc.  Assignments include (but are not limited to) several short response papers, a creative project, and a student’s choice final project.  We will be reading great writers such as Stephen King, Sarah Orne Jewett, E.B. White, Ruth Moore, Carolyn Chute, Sanford Phippen, and more.

(Spring 2014, Callaway)

(Fall 2013, Irvine)

(Fall 2013, Crouse)

(Spring 2013, Hakola)

Maine has an almost mythic quality in the minds of many but how accurate is this picture of Maine people and life? In this course we will use a variety of literary genres—long and short fiction, poetry, essays and creative non-fiction—to explore the complexities of Maine peoples, places, and cultures (note the plural nouns here; they are important). The authors whose works we will read seldom settle for giving us the kind of picture of Maine that we could find on a postcard or in a tourist brochure. Even those pieces that present Maine life as idyllic are appealing in part because we know that most of the time life isn’t like that—even in Maine.

(Fall 2012, Irvine)

(Fall 2012, Crouse)

(Spring 2012, Hakola)

(Spring 2012, Crouse)


ENG 245: American Short Fiction

Prerequisites: 3 hours of English. Satisfies the general education Ethics, Western Cultural Tradition and Artistic & Creative Expression requirements.

Recent offerings:

(Fall 2015, Rogers)

This course is a study of American short fiction from Irving to the present. We will proceed chronologically, concentrating on those formal developments that have made the short story a particularly American genre. Evaluation will be based on exercises, a paper, quizzes, midterm, and final.

(Spring 2015, Callaway)

(Fall 2014, Rogers)

(Spring 2014, Rogers)


ENG 246: American Women’s Literature

Prerequisites: 3 hours of English. Satisfies the general education Ethics, Western Cultural Tradition, and Cultural Diversity & International Perspectives requirements.

Recent offerings:

(Spring 2016, Hildebrandt)

A survey of the main traditions and writers in American women’s literature from the origins to the present.

(Spring 2015)

(Spring 2014)

(Spring 2013)


ENG 248: Literature & the Sea

Prerequisites: 3 hours of literature or permission. Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition requirement.

Recent offerings:

Spring 2009, Kail

This is a course for students who identify in themselves a strong feeling for the sea, for the people who live and work under its many influences, and for the way literature transforms experience into art.  The aim of this course is to provide students with strategically located bearings in the huge expanse of sea literature, so that they can navigate their own way among the unique literary experiences it offers in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and drama.  Be prepared for bold voyaging on the tumultuous and frequently dangerous seas of the human imagination!

Required Texts:

  • William Carpenter, The Wooden Nickel
  • Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
  • Joseph Conrad, The Secret Sharer and Other Stories
  • Lincoln Colcord, I Was Born in a Storm at Sea
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  • Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
  • Sebastian Junger, The Perfect Storm
  • Rudyard Kipling, Captains Courageous
  • Herman Melville, Benito Cereno
  • Eugene O’Neill, The Long Voyage Home and Other Plays
  • Selected poetry and essays.

ENG 249: American Sports, Literature, and Film (Peterson)

Prerequisites: 3 hours of English. Satisfies the general education Ethics and Artistic & Creative Expression requirements.

Recent offerings:

(Spring 2015, Garfield)

Uses readings in fiction, poetry, drama, essays and films to explore social, humanistic, ethical and aesthetic issues in sports and its literature. Examines ways writers capture physical action and the role of sports in various genres and media.

(Spring 2012, Peterson)


ENG 251: English Literature Survey – Beginnings through Neoclassicism (Brinkley)

Prerequisites: 3 hours of literature or permission of the instructor (ENG 170 recommended). Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition and Artistic & Creative Expression requirements.

Satisfies the following English major requirement: 200-level literature course.

Recent offerings:

(Fall 2011)

The major patterns of development within the English literary tradition, with emphasis on the cultural and historical forces which have shaped this tradition.


ENG 252: English Literature Survey – Romanticism to the Present (Brinkley)

Prerequisite: 3 hours of literature or permission. Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition and Artistic & Creative Expression requirements.

Recent offerings:

(Spring 2010)

The major patterns of development within the English literary tradition, with emphasis on the cultural and historical forces which have shaped this tradition.


ENG 253: Shakespeare – Selected Plays

Prerequisites: 3 hours of literature or permission. Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition, Artistic & Creative Expression, and Ethics requirements.

Recent offerings:

(Spring 2016, Harlan-Haughey)

A study of ten to twelve plays, selected to represent the range of Shakespeare’s achievement as a playwright. Recommended for non-majors. Not open to students who have taken ENG 453.

(Fall 2014, Norris)

A selection of Shakespeare plays, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Richard the Third, Hamlet, King Lear, Romeo And Juliet, Pericles, The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest.

Three papers and class presentations.


ENG 256: British Women’s Literature

Prerequisite: 3 hours of college literature or permission Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition and Cultural Diversity & International Perspectives requirements.

Recent offerings:

(Spring 2013)

This survey of major writers and traditions in American women’s literature spans from the colonial era to the present day. We will read and discuss stories, poems, memoirs and essays in the context of women’s changing social and economic conditions. We may ask questions such as these: Are there common themes in the literary work of women? Has a language or voice emerged that is specific to women, and if so, how could one describe it? How do cultural ideas about femininity affect the woman writer’s goals and methods? What artistic choices did the authors make in shaping their work? What forces determine women’s access to the literary world? How do social expectations shape critical responses to women’s writing?

(Spring 2011, Minutolo)

This is an introduction to literature by women of Britain and former British colonies from the Middle Ages to the present day—a group including some of the classic writers in English.  We’ll look at their poetry and fiction not only for their intrinsic pleasures and insights, but also to gain a sense of how literary conventions and gender ideology have interacted with women’s experiences to shape and inform their writing.  Some discussion of women’s history will be included.

Required texts

  • The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women, 3rd edition (2 volume set)
  • Emma, Jane Austen

ENG 271: The Act of Interpretation

Prerequisite: ENG 170. Satisfies the general education Western Cultural Tradition and Writing Intensive requirements.

An introduction to critical theory. Study of individual critics or schools of literary theory. Application of these interpretative strategies to literary texts.

Recent offerings:

(Fall 2016, Evans)

The catalog description of this course reads simply: “An introduction to critical theory. Study of individual critics or schools of literary theory. Application of these interpretative strategies to literary texts.” In this particular section of the class, we will read, discuss, and write about a variety of consequential texts from the history of literary semiotics, hermeneutics, poetics, and cultural studies, starting with Plato and Aristotle and extending to our own day. The central questions we will explore are: What is representation? What is language? What makes an interpretation valid? Who is authorized to speak? What is ideology and how does it work to confer identity on subjects? In the process of forming provisional answers to these multifaceted questions, students will advance their ability to offer artful and persuasive interpretations of a wide range of texts.

Required Texts

The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, 2nd edition

Critical Terms for Literary Studies, 2nd edition

Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust, trans. Lydia Davis

The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud, trans. James Strachey

Evaluation:

A mixture of frequent, brief writing assignments; several more sustained projects; and a cumulative final exam.

(Spring 2016, Billitteri)

ENG 271 looks closely at significant works of modern hermeneutics (a discipline that concerns itself with the constitution of our acts of interpretation) and reception theory (a discipline that concerns itself with the study of the stability and/or variability of textual interpretation across time and across media). We will also explore contemporary trends in hermeneutics and interpretation theory, such as cognitive poetics and affect theory. The semester is divided in three parts: part one (week one to four): main concepts and key terms in literary hermeneutics and interpretation theory; part two (week five to eight): modern hermeneutics and reception theory;  part three (week nine to thirteen): cognitive poetics and affect theory.

Objectives, outcomes, and intellectual focus: The close and systematic study of theory you will encounter in ENG 271 is meant to enhance the awareness of the shaping function of philosophical perspectives in interpreting literary texts, and to facilitate the understanding of the rich complexity of the philosophical foundations of contemporary literary interpretation. These are the main objectives of this course. The principal outcome of this course consists in making students aware that acts of interpretation are historical-specific acts of cultural intervention shaped from the inside by the cultural horizon of the reader and from the outside by the cultural horizon of the text. The dual constitution of this interaction of cultural horizons and the manifestation of its processual unfolding is the intellectual focus of the course.

Assignments: In-class quizzes, several take-home assignments, and two papers (five to six pages in length). In-class quizzes are meant to assess the understanding of the class material at the conceptual and terminological levels. Quizzes are “fill-the blank” exercises where students are asked to recognize key theoretical terms and concepts. Take-home assignments are short interpretive exercises on precise prompts. Papers are extensive acts of analysis and textual interpretation. The conceptual and terminological acuity tested in the in-class quizzes together with the interpretive practice developed in the take-home assignments are preparatory to the final activity of paper-writing.

(Fall 2015, Evans)

(Spring 2015, Billitteri)

(Fall 2014, Evans)

(Spring 2014, Billitteri)

(Fall 2013, Evans)

(Spring 2013, Billitteri)


ENG 280: Introduction to Film

Prerequisites: 3 hours of English or permission of the instructor. Satisfies the general education Social Contexts & Institutions and Artistic & Creative Expression requirements.

Recent offerings:

(Spring 2016, Rogers)

The course will examine the medium of film from its inception at the end of the l9th century to the present. Emphasis is placed on a beginning understanding of film techniques and analysis. The course will concentrate on how films make their meanings.  

Evaluation will be based on exams, exercises, quizzes, midterm, final, and participation.

Textbook:  The primary texts are the narrative films themselves, which will vary but may include films like The Apartment, His Girl Friday, Adam’s Rib, Witness for the Prosecution, Casablanca, Sunset Boulevard, Singin’ in the Rain, Rear Window, Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce, Some Like it Hot, Rebel Without a Cause, and Annie Hall.

(Spring 2015, Howard)

A survey of the history of motion pictures and an exploration of the rhetoric of film, designed to give students with no prior film study an integrated approach to understanding the moving image and how it functions.

(Spring 2014, Howard)

(Spring 2013, Brinkley)

This course includes, as one of its principle aims, to introduce the wonderful world of foreign films with sub-titles, silent films, and films in black-and-white. It’s also a writing course in that after viewing and discussing a film, students are expected to write about it. The text is Looking at Movies by Richard Barsam. There are also a few vocabulary quizzes on film terminology. Some of the films we will be studying this semester are Chaplin’s City Lights, Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train, Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso, Ford’s Stagecoach, Kelly’s Singin’ in the Rain, Welles’ Citizen Kane, Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, and Condon’s Gods and Monsters. We will be studying humanity on film, as well as learning the history of motion pictures since 1895.

(Spring 2012, Phippen)